17 Points, 10 Rebounds
Paige Gauthier's 17 points and season-high 10 rebounds led the Gold Nuggets (4-5), who are ranked 15th in NAIA Division I. Whitney Gathright scored 11 points, and Danielle Tucker and Whitney Gaston-Loyd had eight apiece.
Gauthier, a senior guard playing approximately 75 miles from her hometown of Lake Charles, La., produced Xavier's first double-double of the season and the third of her career. Gauthier scored 10 of the Nuggets' first 19 points.
Sylvana Okde scored 19 points and Braile Fields 11 for the Ragin' Cajuns (4-2), and both made three 3-pointers. Adrienne Prejean grabbed 11 rebounds.
The Gold Nuggets scored the first five points and led 16-7 after Gaston-Loyd's basket in the sixth minute. Okde and Brooklyn Arceneaux scored four points apiece in an 18-0 run which gave the Cajuns a 30-19 with 2:15 remaining in the half, but Xavier closed the margin to 31-25 by halftime.
A Fields 3-pointer gave the Cajuns a 34-25 lead with 18:42 remaining, but Xavier rallied again. The Nuggets tied the score at 34 on Gaston-Loyd's basket and took a pair of 1-point leads, the last on Gathright's basket at 12:16 to make it 40-39.
UL Lafayette took the lead for good with a 13-4 run, but Xavier cut the margin to 52-50 on Gaston-Loyd's basket with 2:54 remaining. The Nuggets did not get any closer, committing a turnover with a chance to tie and missing the front end of a 1-and-1 while trailing 55-52.
The Cajuns outshot the Nuggets 36 to 34.5 percent from the floor and outscored them 18-9 in free throws. Xavier had a 5-1 advantage in blocked shots -- two apiece for Gaston-Loyd and Chelsea Broussard -- and was plus-4 in turnovers.
It was the teams' first meeting since the 1988-89 season. It was Xavier's first regular-season road game against an NCAA Division I opponent since winning at Northwestern State in November 2007.
Xavier will visit city rival Loyola at 7 p.m. Tuesday and play its next home game at 5:30 p.m. Thursday against Mobile.
By Ed Cassiere, Sports Information Director
XAVIER UNIVERSITY OF LOUISIANA